A vending machine located in an office building

Top 10 Hotspots For Vending Machine Placement

Starting a vending business can be appealing because it offers flexible hours and lets you adjust the size of your business to fit your needs. You can even run it with less direct involvement, which many people find attractive.

Currently, there are about 1.8 million vending machines in the United States, bringing in over $13.3 billion in sales each year according to vendingmarketwatch.com.

But, it's important to remember that it takes effort to make money while you're not actively working. The first key to success in vending is choosing the right location. If your vending machine is in a spot where nobody sees it, it won't make any money. If you're thinking about starting a vending business, here's what you should know about picking profitable locations.

A black and white image of vending machines

Are There Restrictions on Where You Can Install Vending Machines? 

Setting up a vending machine might seem easy, but there are important things to consider. You can't just place a machine anywhere without permission. It's crucial to get approval from the property owner or have a contract in place. Also, not all locations are ideal for vending machines. It's essential to choose spots where there's a lot of foot traffic. After all, what's the point of having a vending machine if no one passes by?

When you're starting or expanding a vending business, the key is finding the right locations to maximize your earnings. Look for places where people gather, like schools, malls, or office buildings. By placing your vending machine in high-traffic areas, you increase the chances of making more money.

A person holding a map

Selecting a Lucrative Location for Your Vending Machine 

In the vending business, just like in real estate, where you place your vending machines can make or break your success. Finding the best spots starts with research and visiting different places to see where lots of people go. You also need to check out other vending machines nearby and get permission from the property owners to put yours there.


To run a successful vending machine business, you need customers. People passing by are crucial for your vending machines to make money. When it comes to buying from vending machines, people usually do it in two ways: either they see something they want and buy it on the spot, or they get used to buying from a machine they see regularly, like in their school, workplace, or apartment building.


Imagine being able to set up a vending machine anywhere and make money. Sounds great, right? But before you can do that, you'll need permission from the property owner and a contract.

Getting a contract might be easy in some cases, but in others, it could be challenging. Some property owners may also ask for a percentage of the profits to cover their costs and make some extra money.

A vending machine in a subway station

Top 10 Locations for Vending Machines 

Want to know where vending machines work best? Each vending spot is unique, but here are ten great places to try.

Apartment Complexes 

Apartment complexes are busy all the time, with people coming and going at all hours. Many complexes have common areas like laundry rooms, playgrounds, and gyms. These are great places for vending machines because everyone in the community uses these spaces regularly. Placing vending machines in these spots with a variety of food and drinks is a good idea.


Offices with 50 or more workers are great for vending machines. Employees get hungry and thirsty during the day, and vending machines provide options for those who don't bring snacks or drinks from home, which is pretty common nowadays.

Facilities for Manufacturing and Distribution 

Places like factories, industrial areas, and warehouses are perfect spots for vending machines. These places usually have lots of workers who are busy around the clock. During short breaks, employees don't have time to go out for food. Having vending machines in the break room gives them choices and helps vending businesses make steady money.


Hospitals are open all day, every day, and they cater to different types of people. Patients might enjoy a treat from vending machines, while hospital staff and visitors love the convenience and choices vending machines offer since they don't have time to leave the hospital for food. This constant activity and different types of buyers make hospitals perfect for vending machines.

Nursing Homes and Care Facilities 

Similar to hospitals, nursing homes and care facilities are open all the time. Residents enjoy the snacks, and visitors use vending machines for quick meals or snacks while spending time with loved ones. The staff also find vending machines handy during their long shifts. All these factors make nursing homes and care facilities profitable spots for vending machines.


Gym-goers get hungry after workouts and prefer healthy options. Vending machines with healthy snacks and drinks are perfect for gyms. Employees at gyms also appreciate vending machines with healthy options since they often only have short breaks.

Car Dealerships 

People spend a lot of time at car dealerships, often hours. These places have a lot of foot traffic and long hours, with service centers that can have wait times. Salespeople, technicians, and service staff often use vending machines for quick food and drinks, making car dealerships top spots for vending machines. Also, since many dealerships are part of larger groups, there's a chance to expand vending business to other locations.

Hotels and Motels

Hotel guests might not always want a full meal from the restaurant, so having vending machines in different areas of the hotel can generate continuous revenue, especially for quick snacks.

Retail Stores

In retail stores, vending machines can serve two groups: customers and employees. Customers might want a quick snack while shopping, so placing vending machines near entrances can capture their attention. Employees, who often have short breaks, find vending machines convenient for getting a quick meal or snack.

Schools, Community Colleges, and Universities 

Students are busy and often hungry. Vending machines in schools can be a great source of revenue because many students are in a rush and want a quick snack. Schools are ideal for vending machines that sell healthy products to promote better eating habits among students.

College Dorms 

Dorms are great spots for vending machines, especially for late-night snacks. It's easy for students to grab a snack from a vending machine, especially if they can use their bank cards, credit cards, or school meal plan cards.


Choosing the right location is the cornerstone of a successful vending machine business. With over 1.8 million vending machines generating billions in the US alone, understanding where to place them becomes crucial. While legalities and property owner permissions are essential, the key lies in high-traffic areas. Busy locations like apartment complexes, offices, schools, and hospitals are goldmines for vending machines, providing constant customer flow and generating steady revenue. Partnering with a reliable vending machine seller like Dropship Vending can further streamline the process. They offer a wide variety of machines, expert guidance, and support, ensuring you find the perfect vending solution to maximize profits and turn your entrepreneurial dreams into a reality.

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